School demands FB password. Did they cross the line?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
School demands FB password. Did they cross the line?
5
Tue, 03-13-2012 - 1:01pm

Stories like these are coming up left and right recently. The Parents of College Students board was just talking about a college that requested applicants friend them on Facebook and, recently, a government agency demanded access to a perspective applicant's FB account.

Government I can see, for security clearance purposes. I wouldn't mind a college asking to be "friended" as long as it was optional. But a middle school bringing in a police officer? That wouldn't fly with this momma bird!

http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/13/10657012-up-against-the-wall-should-district-be-allowed-to-demand-middle-schoolers-facebook-password

What do you think? And does the fact that she is only 12 play into it in any way? (Thirteen is supposed to be the minimum age for a FB account.)

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
I don't think whether she is 12 or 17 should play into the question of whether or not a school official can demand and then access a FB private account without permission. I'd be interested to know how they had the parents' permission as they claim to have had, I would have wanted written proof personally. And unfortunately, as the article talked about, the courts haven't made it any easier to decide, their definitions of disruption have varied from court to court, so no real precident has been set yet. Honestly, I always tell my teen, you are not to give out private information, even to a school official, without talking to mom or dad first, they still have a degree of privacy and rights in school.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
I'd really like to know more about that too (how they got the parents' permission, that is). As a parent, I can't imagine saying "sure, go ahead and demand my DD's password, that's okay." without rushing down to the school to be present in a meeting - especially when a police officer is involved. Something seems a little shady there to me.
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Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Nope, not my kid!!! Would not happen!!!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Avatar for melissamc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2007
The parent should have been present for this, and should have agreed to it. I think it's totally wrong for them to demand it from the student.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008

I saw this online today and was pleased to know that Facebook is taking a stand.

http://m.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/facebook-legal-action-against-employers-asking-for-your-password/10768

“If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password, let anyone access your account, or do anything that might jeopardize the security of your account or violate the privacy of your friends,” Facebook Chief Privacy Officer for Policy Erin Egan said in a statement. “We have worked really hard at Facebook to give you the tools to control who sees your information. As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job. And as the friend of a user, you shouldn’t have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don’t know and didn’t intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job.”

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